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27-03-2018 | Original Paper | Uitgave 8/2018 Open Access

Journal of Child and Family Studies 8/2018

The Adolescent HIV Communication Belief Scale: Preliminary Reliability and Validity

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 8/2018
Michael Evangeli


Globally, there are nearly 2 million HIV positive children, many of whom are adolescents. The majority have perinatally acquired HIV. A key challenge for this population is communicating about HIV to meet emotional and practical needs. Despite evidence of its benefits, HIV communication in adolescents with HIV is rare. To enhance HIV communication, individuals’ beliefs may need to be taken into account. There is no measure of beliefs about HIV communication for adolescents living with HIV. A seven-item measure of HIV communication beliefs was developed and administered to 66 adolescents with HIV in the UK (39 female; aged 12–16 years). Data were explored using principal component analysis. Preliminary criterion-related validity was assessed by examining relationships between the measure and communication occurrence, frequency and intention. Preliminary construct validity was assessed by examining relationships between the measure and HIV stigma, HIV disclosure cognition and affect, quality of life and self-perception. Two factors were revealed: communication self-efficacy and normative beliefs; and communication attitudes. The full scale and its subscales were internally consistent. The total score showed statistically significant positive relationships with HIV communication intention, HIV disclosure cognitions and affect, and HIV stigma but not with other variables. Preliminary evidence of the measure’s good psychometric properties suggests it may be helpful in outlining relationships between HIV communication beliefs and other constructs. It may also be useful in testing interventions that aim to enhance HIV communication in this population. Further work needs to be done to establish the scale’s psychometric properties.

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